ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Cruising With Lewis Black, Jason Danieley, Christine Ebersole, Marin Mazzie and Sherie Rene Scott

By Seth Rudetsky
17 Dec 2012

Marin and Jason in performance
Photo by Krissie Fullerton
Marin Mazzie and her husband Jason Danieley did an act together and sang up a storm. The theme was how they first met and how they've now been together for 14 years. It was especially moving to couples on the boat, and one woman came up to them afterwards and said, "After the show, I kept kissing my husband." Sweet! Speaking of husbands, Jason told us a hilarious Marin story that happened the day we got to Buenos Aires. They stayed in a hotel the night before they got on the ship and in the morning they passed a maid in the hallway. The maid walked by, nodded and said, "Buenos dias." Marin nodded back and said, "Buenos Aires." Huh? I guess Marin had been saying the name of the city a lot and that's why it came out so easily but Jason's obsessed with responding to a greeting by naming the city you're in. He said it's like being at the Plaza and after someone says "Hi" and you say, "New York."

A few nights after Marin and Jason's show, we had a little get-together for all the Playbill passengers and I asked them to call out names of their fave Broadway stars and I'd tell stories I've learned about them from years of interviews. When someone yelled out "Idina Menzel" I told them what she told me about being a Long Island girl surrounded by Long Island accents: it wasn't until she an adult that she realized heavy traffic wasn't called "Bumpita Bumpa" traffic. She thought it was some sassy percussive name not "Bumper to bumper traffic."

Marin ended the week with the act she recently did at 54 Below and it was so fun. It featured great pop songs from the '60s and '70s like "That's the Way I've Always Heard it Should Be," "Weekend in New England" and "Evergreen" (really!). Then, she came out for the encore, which she admitted had nothing to do with the show. She said that she had had many requests for "Back to Before" so she would sing but she had to take off her high heels. "This is not because my feet are ki-i-i-i-illing me right now. It is because I'm a method actress and in Ragtime I sang this song barefoot." (Hm…she also played Mother while dressed a full 1918 bustle but I didn't notice her haul that out!) Speaking of bustles, Lewis Black said that he's going to start marketing male spanx because his goal on the cruise was to eat 100,000 calories. Suffice it to say, I reached that goal the third day.

If you're in NYC this week, Joanna Gleason is at the Chatterbox at Don't Tell Mama this Thursday at 5 PM (SethTV.com for details)! And Monday (tonight) I'm doing a benefit for the Flat Rock Playhouse with Richard Kind, Lauren Kennedy and Leslie Odom Jr. (Details here.) All right, I'm getting ready to catch my flight from Rio to NYC. Hopefully, after I land in JFK, the drive back to Manhattan won't be "bumpita-bumpa." Peace out!

(Seth Rudetsky is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM. He has played piano for over 15 Broadway shows, was Grammy-nominated for his concert CD of Hair and Emmy-nominated for being a comedy writer on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." He has written two novels, "Broadway Nights" and "My Awesome/Awful Popularity Plan," which are also available at Audible.com. He recently launched SethTV.com, where you can contact him and view all of his videos and his sassy new reality show.)